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Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven is a cooperative board game set in a fantasy world. Players take on the role of adventurers as they set off on quests defending the land or searching out treasure. Gloomhaven's story format makes each time you play unique while building on the last time you played. You will have the opportunity during play to equip new items and buy special resources to make your character unique to your style of play.

Gloomhaven is good for players who enjoy Dungeons and Dragons or those who have interest in roleplaying games, but are still not sure about where to begin. The game will guide your path with story and flavor text, and give you a feel for how to get started with other roleplaying games.


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Ghost of Tsushima

This beautiful PS4 game takes place in 13th century Japan during the first Mongol Invasion. The graphics do justice to the open countryside and forests that the Last of the Samurai must travel as they seek to rescue their lord and repel the Mongols.

The plot centers around Jin Sakai and his trials trying to stick to the Samurai code of honor while also knowing that to save Japan he must succeed at any cost. Tradition and need to win at any cost fight in his soul as he travels the island protecting the citizens of Tsushima.

The two items that make this game stand out are first the gameplay, which forces the player to take deliberate action during fights. Button mashing will not get the player very far to their goal. The second is the use of the Bushido code to drive elements of the game. There are places throughout the countryside where you can stop and compose Haiku based on the natural world's beauty.

Overall, the game is aesthetically appealing and well-plotted to entertain and drive gameplay. Ghost of Tsushima (2020, rated M) is a must-play for fans of Kurosawa films and the Okami game.


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Spotlight: Reading Skills Board Games

The board game collection is expanding with games designed to help beginning readers with skills like sight words, multiple meanings, spelling, and more. These games are great for parents to play with kids to encourage reading skills and vocabulary. Each game has a unique way of making learning fun.

  • Word on the Street Jr.: A game of tug a war with letters that encourage kids to think creatively and spell bigger and bigger words to earn more points toward winning.
  • Multiple Meanings Around the World: Encourages kids to learn homonyms for common words they will run across while reading and writing.
  • Tower of Sight Words lv 1-2-3: A series of games that operates like Jenga but encourages the reading of sight words before pieces can be pulled.
  • My First Bananagrams: Teaches lower case letters to children and spelling. Also encourages reading and spelling growth with premade letter blends.
  • Spelligator: Word building game that teaches phonemic awareness, letter patterns, and positioning. It covers different letter combinations, including consonants, vowels, digraphs, and blends.
  • After Words: A creative thinking and vocabulary building game for kids who have most of the basics down. The game creates limits to inspire kids to use a larger vocabulary.
  • Classwords the vocabulary game grade 3: Based on common core vocabulary standards for 3rd grade, the game motivates kids to practice and learn the key words needed read and write at the 3rd grade level.


Games are a great way to teach kids new skills while keeping their interest by making the learning fun. They also provide a break from regular memorization and worksheets. Check out a few.


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Cards Against Humanity: Family Edition

If you love the original Cards Against Humanity, you will enjoy this family-friendly edition of the game. If you are new to Cards Against Humanity, the Family Edition is a great game to start with. This version is easily playable with family and friends and is a great way to spend an hour or two just making each other laugh.

The game is played by one person selecting a card with a statement and the other players filling in blanks in the statement with their cards. The first player reads all the cards out loud and gives a point to the one they like best.

What I like about this game is you can be silly, and there are a plethora of card combinations, so every game is unique. Cards Against Humanity: Family Edition (2020) is also a game that is great for parties since players can easily drop in and out of the game.


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Patchwork

Spending time at home is the new normal but being bored does not have to be. Try one of our many board games such as Patchwork (2018). It is a two-player game where players compete for swatches or pieces to complete their quilt. Players try to cover the most space on their game boards with Tetris style pieces while collecting buttons. The player who has the most buttons and most covered space in the end wins.

The two things I like best about this game is that it only takes 20 minutes to play and that it is designed for two players. If you already enjoy buttons, also try Love Letteranother game designed with two players in mind.


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Mystery Manor: Hidden Objects

Looking for an escape that will keep you focused?  Check out Mystery Manor: Hidden Objects, a fun game where you play the detective helping the residents of the manor find the owner, Mister X.  You'll investigate cases and search for hidden objects to clear up the crime.

There are many rooms full of hidden objects and dark secrets, plus multiple ways to explore any room, whether it be silhouettes, word, jumble, or a single item at a time.  There are side games, mini games, daily tasks, and prizes.  You can even join other players in a guild to accomplish tasks and receive prizes.

Download the game for free from the app store (Apple or Google) and start playing today.


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Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

Do you have Animal Crossing: New Horizons FOMO? Fear not! Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is free from the App Store (Google or Apple). Join all your favorite villagers for the ultimate virtual camping trip. It's the same cute, colorful game you'd expect, without Tom Nook shaking you down for bells all the time. This version of the classic game has seasonal events that make logging in a treat. Go fishing, catch bugs, pick fruit, and decorate your very own campsite. The best part? You get to choose which villagers you host.


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